When our kids are young, most of us do a lot to help them to learn to read, then write. We want them to be able to express themselves, as well as access and understand new information easily.
Yet, when they can read and write to the standard for their age group, we tend to switch to helping them with other things. That is a shame because, often, once they get to college-level they struggle. Mostly because the papers they have to produce at that stage are much more in-depth. Plus, the material they are reading to carry out their research is more academically challenging. Below are some things you can do to help them to be ready to write and read to that much higher standard.
Get them used to double-checking what they write
Tools like Scribbr and Grammarly will help them to produce a better standard of work. What they write will be plagiarism free and they will have corrected most of the common spelling and grammar errors virtually everyone makes. It will only take them an extra 5 or 10 minutes to do this but will greatly improve their chances of getting a good grade.
Teach them to read what they write out loud
But, make sure they learn not to rely on these tools. They are not flawless. There are some errors it is impossible for software to pick up on. Teach your children to read what they have written out loud. They and you will be surprised by how often they pick up mistakes that they would have otherwise missed.
Ask to read some of their schoolwork
Taking an interest in what your children are studying is always a good move. Provided it is done in the right way, it motivates them to do their best work, as well as help to keep the channels of communication open. If you can, ask a few questions about what you have just read. Studies show that explaining something to someone else helps to implant things in your mind and improve your understanding. This also applies to your children. When they explain things to you their understanding also improves. Plus, the fact that they know there is a fair chance you will be reading what they have written will motivate them to put in that little bit more effort.
Encourage curiosity in your children
Knowledge is fuel for writers. Regularly reading and absorbing new information plays a big role in being able to write something fresh and interesting. It sparks inspiration and makes the whole writing process go a lot faster. So, do your best to encourage your children to read non-fiction as well as fiction. Perhaps buy them a subscription to an online magazine related to a hobby or interest that they have. This article explains more about the connection between what you read and how well you write.
Start as early as possible
Generally speaking, the sooner you start, the easier it is for your child to assimilate the new skills they need to produce work that will enable them to easily pass their exams. They will also find it much easier in the workplace, where written communication is still widely used.
Teaching your child to open notepad, while doing research, then copy and paste the URLs of anything they plan to use in their school essays, is a simple starting point. This and making a little note regarding the point that caught their eye will then become second nature to them. Forming this habit early will help to turn them into more proficient writers at a very early stage.
Looking for a simple way to start writing together with your kids? Check out Letters to My Daughter.